Old Haven, New Family

14

June 24, 2018, Spring Hill, FL-

I have hopped around a lot, over the past week or so, spending Father’s Day with my son, and daughter-in-law to be, in the Independence Hall area of Philadelphia, touring more historic sites in Baltimore and in Virginia’s Tidewater region, meeting a surrogate daughter for dinner, paying homage at a Baha’i property in South Carolina, then driving across the Palmetto State, for another afternoon visit with an old friend from Xanga days.

Camping, the other night, featured my tent protecting me from three separate downpours, which had thunder and lightning make several appearances. I visited a couple of small towns, prior to coming here, yesterday, after breaking soggy camp.

Edgefield has a lovely town square and many friendly people out and about. Aiken is even more engaging and welcoming, and has my newest coffee shop friend: New Moon. I put this establishment right up there with Wild Iris and Artful Dodger, whose praises I have sung more than once. As Artful was way out of my way this time, New Moon made up for it.

I cherish finding places in which I almost immediately feel like family. It certainly makes what could feel old, after a bit, a good deal more rewarding.

It was getting old, yesterday evening, driving across narrow mid-Georgia roadways and down along I-75. Ocala, though, has established itself as a mid-way comfort point, so I stayed at Budget Host.

Spring Hill is now part of my triangle of homes, with Prescott and Saugus at the other two points. There are many other safe havens as well, from southern California to Montreal, southeast Alaska to the Shenandoah.

So, regardless of what the next many weeks, months and years hold, I feel confident and safe. Oh, and I have started checking out computers, so photo blogs are not far from being back.

Glory in Perspective

6

June 19, 2018, Williamsburg-

I have used the two days, since leaving Philadelphia, to visit a couple of places that Penny, Aram and I missed on an ambitious, but tortuous, road trip, in 2007.

Throwing in a short photo shoot at the closed Edgar Allan Poe House, on Baltimore’s West Side, and some scenes in the Mount Vernon section, I found used on Fort McHenry, one of the places we missed, 11 years ago.

I found the structural aspects fascinating and Francis Scott Key’s complicated story, compelling. More about these, when The 2018 Road series resumes.

My next mission was to visit Penny’s second cousin, in southeast Maryland, as she had lost her mother, four months ago. It was a cathartic and crucial two hours.

As it happens, two other events occurred, as I was leaving HI-Baltimore: Penny’s only living aunt passed away, at the age of 99 and Aram got engaged.

Today, after meandering some, as far as Point Lookout, Maryland’s southern tip, I headed for Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the U.S. For lack of a $5 bill, I forewent visiting Point Lookout, with nearby Scotland Beach as a substitute. Just as well, as Jamestown is well worth a full four hours, or more.

This brings up the matters of nationalism and glory. Both at Fort McHenry and at Jamestown, the curators have taken great pains to illustrate the roles of people of colour in every chapter of our national story. I hope to see more of this, as the educational portion of my journey continues.

Stripping the Mindfulness Label

8

Finding Dharma

field-of-flowers.jpg

What is Mindfulness? I think the better question would be what is it NOT.

This year I have taken on the task of creating a business which offers mindfulness training and support for teachers (K-16) called Uplift Teachers. To start I completed an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course through the UMASS Medical School. Before doing this I was told by a mentor that I already was living mindfully but I have to admit I really wasn’t in a whole and complete way. I was doing daily gratitudes, trying to incorporate meditation into my daily life. I was definitely moving away from unrealistic expectations of perfection and the drive to push myself beyond my limits on a daily basis. This was all good and a definite beginning to living mindfully. But doing this course opened my eyes and showed me exactly how I was still caught up in the run…

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Who Are You?

4

Eclipsed Words

It breaks my heart that most people haven’t a clue about who they really are. Nearly all of the people I talk with, whether on the “path” or not, do not recognize the majesty of their being.

On the other hand, it is important to remember that we came to this planet as physical beings with the foremost intent to forget who we really are!

We wanted to have the experience of removing ourselves from Source (or God, or Goddess, The Divine or whatever) so that we could have the awesome experience of remembering.

That people forget really isn’t that big of a deal. But that people rememberis a big deal.

Why? Because if you remember that you are divine, you remember that in your divinity you have been given the gift of creation. You are a god being.

You are also eternal. You can never die…

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Blocked

26

May 2, 2018, Prescott-

I am now being asked to provide my e-mail address and name, for every comment I wish to make on any post in my reader.  Word Press refuses to recognize my e-mail address and its password.  So, if I seem like I am not caring about your posts- blame Word Press.  I have not trolled anyone, nor have I intentionally set out to hurt anybody.  WP, GET OVER IT!!

Musings in Darkness

6

April 30, 2018, Twin Arrows, AZ-

As I sit in this quiet hotel lobby, watching over a little boy and his family, in various stages of sleep, I feel an odd comfort. They may very well have lost their home by now.

The power in their forest home may be shut off, also, as authorities seek to curb further sources of fire. The wind, meanwhile, is roaring, and is no doubt being answered by the blaze, 60 miles to the southeast, in a hideous call and response.

I am as alone now, as I’ve been in quite a while. An online group, with whom I’ve been sharing some fairly deep thoughts, have gone dark, after one of their number took exception to a post I wrote on their site. I deleted the post, but no matter. What’s done is done and even among the enlightened, there are limits to what one is allowed to say.

Here, at least, I can pretty much speak freely, so long as I am respectful of others. I love so many, albeit mostly not in a romantic way. (There are only two of whom I can say I am inclined that way and I’ve met neither, in person, so that may be fanciful thinking.) It matters little, though I am bound to be scolded for entertaining such feelings, yet again. We live in a judgemental society.

Enough of this. I need to rest a bit and focus my thoughts on the day ahead. There will be the drive back to Prescott, a couple hours of work, a haircut and a chiropractic treatment, then more rest and some time at the gym.

Be safe and well. I love you all.

Let’s Talk About Bleach Enemas

10

Yes, this is apparently a thing- just like Tide Pods. Except, it’s not Millennials and Founders doing this to themselves. It’s parents-of various generations, doing this to their kids. BLEACH.IS.POISON.

Wibbly Wobbly, Neuro-UNlogical Stuff

A few days ago in a parenting facebook group someone posted asking about parasite cleansing protocols. I asked if they were referring to bleach enemas, which got some LOL responses. Turns out, people thought I was joking. They didn’t know that some parents are so insistent on “fighting autism” and “reclaiming” their child that they squirt bleach up their kid’s butts to “kill the parasites.” And post pictures of the shredded lining of the intestines that come out, insisting it’s the dead “parasites” that are causing their child’s autism. This is a real, actual thing, and people need to know about this.

Horribly enough, this isn’t even a new thing. If you Google “bleach enemas” there was a lot of uproar about it 5 years ago. It was in the media a bit and a change.org petition was made, but that is useless because it’s not the government or…

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Refuge

11

April 4, 2018, Prescott-

I might have renewed my library card,

some time ago.

So, with my laptop

in the shop,

I determined

to the refuge

I would go.

A kind soul

recommended

Internet Cafe,

as well.

I used those,

in Europe,

but there are

none, in cities

like Prescott.

Our wonderful Library

system, though,

offers plenty of time

and space,

for catching up

on the mandatory,

like e-mail,

and the pleasantries,

like this network.

There are people on here,

who will be glad

I’m alive,

and others,

who will be relieved

that I won’t be

as ubiquitous,

for the next few days.

I see the latter aren’t

around much, themselves,

anyway,

so no matter.

I’m just glad to have

reconnected,

with a lifelong friend,

the Public Library system.

Fifty Down

4

April 4, 2018, Prescott-

Fifth years gone.

How have changed?

I have come to know

many more people of colour.

I have grown to know them

as complete human beings,

instead of just

sympathetic figures,

on a screen.

I have learned to listen,

rather than pontificate.

I have felt the pain,

not just of the victims,

but also,

of the oppressors,

both witting and unwitting.

Fifty years down,

where are we,

as a people?

We are more inclusive.

We are, in many cases,

more willing

to have neighbours

of demographics

other than our own;

to welcome

new family members

who don’t look like us.

Left to overcome:

the suspicion;

the blame-shifting;

the false equivalency;

the name-calling;

the residue of Jim Crow.

He is yet an inspiration,

and that some ask

how can a man of colour

be a role model for

a man of pallour,

is itself proof

of how far we’ve yet to go.

The boy, named for an archangel,

and renamed for a flawed,

but powerful, change-agent,

remains one of my heroes.